- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Sexuality, intimacy and cancer
- Treatment side effects
- Immunotherapy and targeted therapy
Immunotherapy and targeted therapy
Other drug treatments for cancer include immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Immunotherapy uses substances that encourage the body’s own natural defences (immune system) to fight cancer. Targeted therapy attacks specific features of cancer cells to stop the cancer growing and spreading.
Side effects of immunotherapy and targeted therapy
Side effects for these treatments vary depending on the particular drug that is used, but can include swelling, weight gain, fatigue, pain, and depression, all of which may affect your libido or ability to have sex. Your doctor will explain if you need to use barrier protection, such as condoms, during sex if you are having these treatments.
Podcast: Sex and Cancer
Dr Margaret McGrath, Head of Discipline: Occupational Therapy, Sydney School of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, NSW; Yvette Adams, Consumer; Dr Kimberley Allison, Out with Cancer study, Western Sydney University, NSW; Andreea Ardeleanu, Mental Health Accredited Social Worker, Cancer Counselling Service, Canberra Health Service, ACT; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Dr Kerrie Clover, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Psycho-Oncology Service, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Maree Grier, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Mark Jenkin, Consumer; Bronwyn Jennings, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mater Health, QLD; Dr Rosalie Power, Out with Cancer study, Western Sydney University, NSW; Dr Margaret Redelman OAM, Medical Practitioner and Clinical Psychosexual Therapist, Sydney, NSW; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse Consultant, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; Simone Sheridan, Sexual Health Nurse Consultant, Sexual Health Services – Austin Health, Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, VIC; Prof Jane Ussher, Chair, Women’s Heath Psychology and Chief Investigator, Out with Cancer study, Western Sydney University, NSW; Paula Watt, Clinical Psychologist, WOMEN Centre, WA.
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